By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau
ALEXANDRIA—It pays to be an older guy under Obamacare. But it sure sucks to be a younger one — or, a woman of any age, for that matter.
One group of Virginians who pay for their own health insurance will probably have more affordable monthly premium rates under the so-named Affordable Care Act — 64-year-old men. Everyone else in the Old Dominion — younger men and all women — will pay between 3- and 67-percent higher premium rates, according to data compiled by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in New York.
And while the average 64-year-old man can hope to see a 19-percent dip in his monthly rates, the average 27-year-old man might want to cut down on gas and grocery expenses to cover his estimated 67-percent increase in costs.
“It’s called the Affordable Care Act, right?” Avik Roy, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, said in an interview with Watchdog.org. “… Is the law living up to that promise? That’s arguably the most important aspect of Obamacare.”
Well, that’s what Roy and his colleagues are trying to find out — and they’re putting their findings on an interactive map.
They’re looking at what men and women ages 27, 40 and 64 who pay for their own health insurance will pay once the law is in full swing.
At 27, young adults are no longer eligible for health insurance under their parents’ plans; at 40, a person is somewhere in the ballpark of half of life expectancy; and at 64, a person is just one year shy of being eligible for Medicare.
The institute’s researchers are looking solely at those who buy their own health insurance — not those who receive or will receive help from their employer or a government exchange.
Roy and his colleagues still are waiting on 37 states to report information from insurance carriers to finish their project.
But, for those states that already have, like Virginia, the news isn’t good. Across the 13 states and the District of Columbia analyzed so far, rates will rise on average by 24 percent.
Maybe the term ‘Obamacare’ will be more accurate after all.
— Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter with Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.